Posts Tagged ‘cinnamon’

Week 30: Churros Challah

Churro(s) challah!!!

Is it churro or churros?  Is it like Dodgers and Lakers, where you dont know if that’s the actual name, or if they always pluralize it, even though there is a legitimate singular form?  Or is it like Vin Scully, where, as a kid, having never seen his name in writing, I was never sure if it was “Vin Scully” or “Vince Cully”.

Enough witty banter.  I refuse to do the research on this one, so Churros Challah is what we will call it.

How did I make it, you ask?  Start with the cinnamon challah recipe.  That’ll make your churro(s) dough.  That’s the easy part.  Now figure out how to make sugar and cinnamon stick to the outside of a baked challah.  Good luck.

Week 28: Peanut Butter-Cinnamon-Banana Challah

Peanut Butter-Cinnamon-Banana Challahs

Call it what you will… I call it a cop out.  A delicious cop out, but a cop out nonetheless. Cop out cop out cop out. What’s the origin of that word? Anyway, take the Peanut butter challah recipe, mash in some bananas from the banana challah recipe, and add a dash of cinnamon, and there you have it! Some claimed it was “oddly delicious”.  I don’t think there’s anything oddly about it.  It was delicious.  How could it not be… I made it :)

Week 21: Banana Chocolate Chip Challah

Trader Joes Pareve Chocolate Chips -- They plump when you cook 'em!

When was the last time you made banana bread?  Your answer, like mine, probably begins with “This one week when we had a bunch of brown bananas that no one wanted to eat, but I felt bad throwing away…” The problem is, now that my son, Evan, eats a banana for breakfast everyday, we no longer have several rotting bananas 5-7 days after going to Costco.  When I decided to make banana challah this week, I had to go around scavenging for ripe bananas, and the usual haunts (Costco, several grocery stores) only had green bananas!  So, a special shout out to Pearl and Alex (and Eric) for selflessly providing me with primo bananas! Now onto the reason we’re here… I added a little less than a cup and a half of ripe bananas (3-4 smallish bananas) to the usual challah recipe.  The riper (browner) the bananas, the more flavorful and sweeter the challah (or banana bread in general) will be.  I also threw in a little vanilla and cinnamon, just for kicks.  And, of course, the chocolate chips.  I suppose some brown sugar instead of white sugar (or sprinkled on top?) would have been good too, but I wasn’t feeling particularly crazy this week. Because of the moisture from the ‘nanas, the challah dough needed at least an extra cup of flour (that’s sort of a very clever pun!).  I didn’t count, but it might even have been 2-3 extra cups.  It was pretty crazy.  My mixer can handle the 8-cup recipe, and my mixer definitely could not handle this dough. Yadda, yadda, yadda… It looks like challah, it feels like challah, but it tastes and smells like banana bread!  The chocolate chips were a great add on (are they ever not?), and I tried a few with walnuts, which were also pretty interesting. I present Banana Chocolate Chip Challah with the “Most suitable challah flavor to be served with Sunday morning brunch” award. Congrats!

Week 16: Orange Challah

Orange challah with raisins

It’s new years eve!  Just as Christmas eve presented a great theme opportunity last week, this week I asked myself, “what makes for a good New Years Eve challah?”  The answer: Something that goes well with champagne! After pondering further, I decided that one of the all-time greatest champagne accompanists is good ‘ole OJ.  Who doesn’t like a mimosa with brunch? The idea was the hard part… The rest came naturally.  Beginning with the usual recipe, I replaced the water with orange juice, added some cinnamon and zested a few Cuties (mandarin oranges).  We didn’t have any normal oranges, and I didn’t have the nerve to scavenge through the neighborhood and “harvest” someone else’s trees. I then thought to myself, “what would make this different from all the other challahs of weeks 1-16 that were the same old recipe with a different juice and spice?” The answer: raisins! As you might recall, we had a brief discussion about dried fruit being the culprit in dried-out challahs.  I decided to try out one of the comments and soak the raisins on orange juice.  After a half hour, the raisins didn’t look very different, but I used them anyway.  One cup of sort-of orange-infused raisins went into the dough. The results were awesome!  One of my favorites so far!  Unlike the cranberry and apple juices, which didn’t add much flavor at all, the combination of orange juice and orange zest gave a solid orange flavor and tangy zip on the back end.  The raisins dried the challah a little (maybe they need a few hours to soak?), but not terribly.  Overall, a very positive outcome! Now, the trouble is, do we call this “orange challah,” “orange jew-lius challah” or “mimosa challah?”

Week 12: Apple pie Challah’mode

apple challah

apple glazed, apple filled, apple pie "challah-mode"

I did it!  I finally did it!  After weeks of smelling the new apple spice air freshener that my wife installed downstairs, and constantly feeling like there was a lack of “apple spice” in my diet, inspiration struck and I figured out how to make the apple spice challah I was waiting for all my life ever since my wife went to Target a few weeks ago. I started with the normal challah recipe, replaced the water with apple juice and added a teaspoon of cinnamon (Since starting this blog, I’ve gotten very good at spelling cinnamon).  The dough smelled fantastic, but after all the other great-smelling-doughs-that-never-taste-like-they-smell irritations I’ve experienced over the past few months, I knew I needed to push it a little further. Here’s the “inspiration” part… I took the apple dough, spread some margarine, brown sugar and cinnamon (there’s that word again!) on it and braided it together into the round braid I love so much.  So, now we’ve got a dessert challah made with apple dough.  “But it’s not really ‘apple pie’,” you’re thinking.  Shhh… let me finish. I then cut up an apple into thin slices and layered a few of them in the middle with a little more brown sugar and cinnamon.  Probably a quarter of an apple in a 1-lb challah.  I pulled the edges back over so that the apple mixture was in the middle, flipped it over, and tadda!!!!  Apple Pie Challah! Now for the final touch — I whipped up a simple glaze of powdered sugar, vanilla and (wait for it… wait for it…) apple juice!  (you thought I was gonna say cinnamon, huh?)  I glazed the Apple Pie Challah with the apple glaze, and that’s where I’ll leave it.  I’m not even going to try to describe the awesomeness.  Make it or ask me to make you one.  You won’t be disappointed.